Jump, Little Children

Between the Dim and the Dark

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    8
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Formerly known as Jump, Little Children, Jump has been making uniquely beautiful folk and pop music for enthusiastic regional audiences since the early '90s. Having proved insufficiently commercial for the majors, the band is back with its third studio album on the small but feisty Brash Music label, and with a newfound sense of melodic and lyrical subtlety. Listen to how singer Jay Clifford stretches out on "Broken," with quietly complex vocal flourishes that never descend into self-indulgence or ostentation. Note also how subtly elegant the string arrangements have gotten on songs like "Hold You Down" and "Midnight." On several tracks, including the gorgeous "Rains in Asia," the open-tuned guitars and silky vocal harmonies hark back to Shelleyan Orphan. This is one of those rare albums for which the "repeat" button was made; the first time you listen you'll know it's wonderful, but you'll also know you're missing quite a bit of what makes it wonderful and you'll want to immediately give it another spin to try to catch what you missed. And then you'll go back to your copies of Magazine and Vertigo and give those another spin, too, just to make sure you weren't missing the good stuff there. Very highly recommended.

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